7:1 And after these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Judaea, because the Jews sought to kill him1. JESUS FAILS TO ATTEND THE THIRD PASSOVER: SCRIBES REPROACH HIM FOR DISREGARDING TRADITION. (Galilee, probably Capernaum, Spring A.D. 29.) Matthew 15:1-20; Mark 7:1-23; John 7:1
And after these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk
in Judaea, because the Jews sought to kill him. John told us in his last
chapter that the passover was near at hand. He here makes a general
statement which shows that Jesus did not attend this passover. The reason
for his absence is given at John
7:2 Now the feast
of the Jews, the feast of tabernacles, was at hand1.
JESUS' BROTHERS ADVISE HIM TO GO TO JERUSALEM. (Galilee, probably Capernaum.) John
Now the feast of the Jews, the feast of tabernacles, was at hand.
sought for his life. This keeping away or seclusion began at the Passover
season, and led Jesus not only to keep away from Judea, but even to hover
upon the outskirts of Galilee itself. The seclusion is described in Section
65-71. See topic 9007|. We now turn back to take up with John the narrative
which tells how, after his six months' retirement, Jesus prepared to appear
once more in Judea. The Feast of Tabernacles began on the fifteenth day of
the month Tisri, which answers to our September-October, and consequently
came six months after and six months before the Passover. It was the most
joyous of the two great feasts, and not only commemorated the time when
Israel dwelt in the wilderness in tents, but also celebrated the harvest
home. It was, therefore, a thanksgiving both for permanent abodes and for
the year's crops. As the people dwelt in booths, the feast partook much of
the form and merriment of a picnic.
7:3 His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart
hence, and go into Judaea1, that
thy disciples also may behold thy works which thou doest2.
Depart hence, and go into Judaea. When we consider how Jesus had
withdrawn into the regions of Tyre, Sidon, Decapolis, and Caesarea Philippi,
and with what assiduity he had avoided crowds and concealed miracles, these
words become very plain.
That thy disciples also may behold thy works which thou doest. The
twelve had been instructed sufficiently to confess his Messiahship, but
thousands of his disciples had not seen a miracle in six months.
7:4 For no man doeth anything in secret,
and himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou doest
these things, manifest thyself to the world1.
If thou doest these things, manifest thyself to the world. To his
brothers such secrecy seemed foolish on the part of one who was ostensibly
seeking to be known. They were not disposed to credit the miracles of Jesus,
but insisted that if he could work them he ought to do so openly.
7:5 For even his
brethren did not believe on him1.
For even his brethren did not believe on him. The verse explodes
the idea that the parties known in the New Testament as our Lord's brothers
were the sons of Alphaeus and cousins to Jesus. The sons of Alphaeus had
long since been numbered among the apostles, while our Lord's brothers were
still unbelievers. As to his brothers, see
7:6 Jesus therefore saith unto them, My
time is not yet come; but your time is always ready.
My time is not yet come: but your time is always ready. Jesus is
answering a request that he manifest himself. The great manifestation of his
cross and resurrection could not properly take place before the Passover,
which was still six months distant. But his brothers, having no message and
no manifestation, could show themselves at Jerusalem any time.
7:7 The world
cannot hate you1; but me it
hateth, because I testify of it, that its works are evil2.
The world cannot hate you. The world cannot hate you because you
are in mind and heart a part of it, and it cannot hate itself.
But me it hateth, because I testify of it, that its works are evil.
It hates those who are not of it, and who rebuke its sins and oppose its
7:8 Go ye up unto the feast: I
go not up unto this feast; because my time is not yet fulfilled1.
I go not up unto this feast; because my time is not yet fulfilled.
He did go to the feast, but he did not go up to manifest himself, as his
brothers asked, and hence, in the sense in which they made the request, he
did not go up. Six months later, at the Passover, he manifested himself by
the triumphal entry somewhat as his brothers wished.
7:10 But when his brethren were gone up
unto the feast, then went he also up, not publicly, but
as it were in secret1.
THE PRIVATE JOURNEY TO JERUSALEM. (Through Samaria. Probably September, A.D.
Then went he also up, not publicly, but as it were in secret. The
secrecy of this journey consists in the fact that Jesus did not join the
caravans or pilgrim bands, and that he did not follow the usual Perean
route, but went directly through Samaria.
7:11 The Jews
therefore sought him at the feast1, and said, Where is he?
IN THE TEMPLE AT THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES. (October, A.D. 29.) John
The Jews therefore sought him at the feast. It was now eighteen
months since Jesus had visited Jerusalem, at which time he had healed the
impotent man at Bethesda. His fame and prolonged obscurity made his enemies
anxious for him to again expose himself in their midst. John here used the
word "Jews" as a designation for the Jerusalemites, who, as
enemies of Christ, were to be distinguished from the multitudes who were in
doubt about him, and who are mentioned in John
7:12 And there
was much murmuring among the multitudes concerning him1:
some said, He is a good man; others said, Not so, but he leadeth the multitude
There was much murmuring among the multitudes concerning him. The
vast crowd disputed as groups rather than individuals. The inhabitants of
some towns were disposed to unite in his defense, while those from other
towns would concur in condemning him.
7:13 Yet no man
spake openly of him for fear of the Jews1.
Yet no man spake openly of him for fear of the Jews. They would not
commit themselves upon a question so important until the Sanhedrin had given
7:14 But when it
was now the midst of the feast1 Jesus
went up into the temple, and taught2.
But when it was now the midst of the feast. As the feast lasted
eight days, the middle of it would be from the third to the fifth day.
Jesus went up into the temple, and taught. Though Jesus had come up
quietly to prevent public demonstrations in his favor, he now taught boldly
and openly in the very stronghold of his enemies. His sudden appearance
suggests the fulfillment of Malachi
7:15 The Jews therefore marvelled, saying,
How knoweth this man letters, having never learned1?
How knoweth this man letters, having never learned? The enemies of
Christ were content to know but little about him, and now when they heard
him they could not restrain their astonishment at his wisdom. By
"letters" was meant the written law and the unwritten traditions
which were taught in the great theological schools at Jerusalem. The same
Greek word, "gramma", is translated "learning" at Acts
26:24. No one was expected to teach without having passed through such a
course. Skeptics of our day assert that Jesus derived his knowledge from the
schools, but the school teachers who are supposed to have taught him
complained of him that he was not their scholar, and surely they ought to
7:16 Jesus therefore answered them and
said, My teaching is not mine, but his that sent me.
My teching is not mine, but his that sent me. Seeing the Jews
inquiring as to the source of his wisdom, Jesus explains that it was given
him of God, and was therefore not derived from any school.
7:17 If any man
willeth to do his will, he shall know of the teaching1,
whether it is of God, or [whether] I speak from myself.
If any man willeth to do his will, he shall know of the teaching,
whether it is of God, or [whether] I speak from myself. Those who
would test thee divinity of the doctrine of Christ cannot do so by rendering
a mere mechanical obedience to his teaching. A willing, heartfelt obedience
is essential to a true knowledge of his doctrine. Such a disposition makes a
good and honest heart in which the seeds of his kingdom must inevitably
grow. But a spirit of disobedience is the general source of all skepticism.
7:18 He that
speaketh from himself seeketh his own glory1: but he that
seeketh the glory of him that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness
is in him.
He that speaketh from himself seeketh his own glory. Those who bear
their own message seek their own glory. Those who bear God's message seek
God's glory, and such seeking destroys egotism.
7:19 Did not Moses give you the law, and
[yet] none of you doeth the law? Why seek ye to kill me1?
Why seek ye to kill me? The point he makes here is that their
seeking to kill him was proof that they were not keeping the law.
7:20 The multitude answered, Thou
hast a demon: who seeketh to kill thee1?
Thou hast a demon: who seeketh to kill thee? The multitude had
sought to kill him at his last visit (John
7:1), and it now affects to deny it. Wild notions and extraordinary
conduct indicated insanity, and insanity was usually attributed to
demoniacal possession. Compare insanely preposterous, and their words
savored more of roughness and irreverence than of malignant unkindness.
7:21 Jesus answered and said unto them, I
did one work, and ye all marvel because thereof1.
I did one work, and ye all marvel because thereof. Jesus forbears
to speak further as to the plot to murder him, knowing that time would
reveal it. but refers to the miracle performed on the Sabbath day at
Bethesda eighteen months before, which gave rise to the plot to kill him (John
5:16-18). A reference to the excitement at that time would recall to the
thoughtful the evidence and bitter hostility which the Jerusalemites had
7:22 Moses hath given you circumcision
(not that it is of Moses, but of the fathers); and on
the sabbath ye circumcise a man1.
And on the sabbath ye circumcise a man. The law which said that no
work must be done on the Sabbath day was in conflict with the law which said
that a child must be circumcised on the eighth day, whenever that eighth day
happened to fall on the Sabbath. It was a case of a specific command making
"exception" to the greater law (Exodus
7:23 If a man
receiveth circumcision on the sabbath, that the law of Moses may not be broken1;
are ye wroth with me, because I made a man every whit
whole on the sabbath2?
If a man receiveth circumcision on the sabbath, that the law of Moses
may not be broken. Circumcision was great because it purified legally a
portion of the body.
Are ye wroth with me, because I made a man every whit whole on the
sabbath? But the healing worked by Jesus was greater, for it renewed the
7:24 Judge not
according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment1.
Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment. If
the act of Christ in healing a man were judged as a mere act, it might be
considered a breach of the Sabbath. But if the nature of the act be taken
into account and all the laws relative to it be considered--in short, if it
be judged righteously in all bearings--it would be amply justified.
7:25 Some therefore of them of Jerusalem
said, Is not this he whom they seek to kill1?
Is not this he whom they seek to kill? Thus, by referring to the
miracle at Bethesda, Jesus not only brought to mind the former opposition of
the Jewish rulers, but he started the people of Jerusalem (who were
acquainted with the present tempter of the hierarchy) to talking about the
intention to kill him, thus warning the people beforehand that they would be
called upon to assist in his crucifixion.
7:26 And lo, he speaketh openly, and they
say nothing unto him. Can it be that the rulers indeed
know that this is the Christ1?
Can it be that the rulers indeed know that this is the Christ? The
men of Jerusalem spoke more freely because the present boldness of Jesus led
them to think that maybe the rulers were changing their attitude toward him.
7:27 Howbeit we
know this man whence he is1: but
when the Christ cometh, no one knoweth whence he is2.
Howbeit we know this man whence he is. Jerusalem shared the
prejudice of its rulers: its citizens felt sure that the rulers could not
accept Jesus as Christ because his manner of coming did not comply with
But when the Christ cometh, no one knoweth whence he is. Prophecy
fixed upon Bethlehem as the birthplace and the line of David as the family
of the Christ, but the Jews, probably influenced by Isaiah
63:8, appear to have held that there would be a mystery attached to the
immediate and actual parentage of the Messiah. Surely there could have been
no greater mystery than the real origin of Jesus as he here outlines it to
them, and as they might have fully known it to be had they chosen to
investigate the meaning of his words.
7:28 Jesus therefore cried in the temple,
teaching and saying, Ye both know me, and know whence I am; and
I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true, whom ye know not1.
And I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true, whom ye know
not. Our Lord here asserts their ignorance as to his divine origin.
Since he came from God, and they did not know God, they consequently did not
know whence he came.
7:29 I know him;
because I am from him, and he sent me1.
I know him; because I am from him, and he sent me. As they expected
a Messiah who would be supernaturally sent, they ought to have been
satisfied with Jesus. But they had no eyes with which to discern the
7:30 They sought
therefore to take him1: and no
man laid his hand on him, because his hour was not yet come2.
They sought therefore to take him. Because they understood his
language as referring to God and were incensed that he should so openly
declare them ignorant of God.
And no man laid his hand on him, because his hour was not yet come.
Because it was not the will of God that he should be arrested at this time.
7:31 But of the multitude many believed on
him; and they said, When the Christ shall come, will he
do more signs than those which this man hath done1?
When the Christ shall come, will he do more signs than those which this
man hath done? Their question was an argument in favor of the
Messiahship of Jesus.
7:32 The Pharisees heard the multitude
murmuring these things concerning him; and the chief priests and the Pharisees sent
officers to take him2.
And he chief priests and the Pharisees. That is, the Sanhedrin,
described by its constituent classes.
Sent officers to take him. When the Sanhedrin heard the people
expressing their faith in Jesus they felt that it was time to take action.
7:33 Jesus therefore said, Yet
a little while am I with you, and I go unto him that sent me1.
Yet a little while am I with you, and I go unto him that sent me.
Knowing their attempt to arrest him, Jesus tells them that it is not quite
time for them to accomplish this purpose.
7:34 Ye shall
seek me, and shall not find me1: and where I am, ye cannot
Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me. They would soon destroy
Jesus; after which they would seek him in vain. Their violence would result
in his return to his Father.
And where I am, there ye cannot come. In the dark days which were
about to come, the Jews would long for a Messiah, for the Christ whom they
had failed to recognize in Jesus. They, too, would desire the heavenly rest
and security of a better world, but their lack of faith would debar them
from entering in. See comment at (John
7:35 The Jews therefore said among
themselves, Whither will this man go that we shall not
find him1? will he go unto the
Dispersion among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks2?
Whither will this man go that we shall not find him? The
"words" of Jesus were plain enough, but the assertion that he
would return to God, and that such a return would be denied to them was, in
their ears, too preposterous to be entertained. They therefore made light of
it by construing it nonsensically.
Will he go unto the Dispersion among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks?
They asked if he would go among the Jews who had been dispersed or scattered
by the captivity and who had never returned to Palestine, and if, when so
doing, he would teach the heathen among whom these dispersed were scattered,
assuming that such teaching would certainly frustrate and render absurd his
claims to be a Jewish Messiah. They little suspected that Jesus, through his
apostles, would do this very thing and thereby vindicate his claim as the
true Messiah of God.
7:37 Now on the
last day1, the great [day] of the feast, Jesus stood and
cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me
On the last day. The eighth day.
If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. If we may trust
the later Jewish accounts, it was the custom during the first seven days for
the priests and people in joyful procession to go to the pool of Siloam with
a golden pitcher and bring water thence to pour out before the altar, in
commemoration of the water which Moses brought from the rock and which
typified the Christ (1 Corinthians
10:4). If this is so, it is likely that the words of Jesus have some
reference to this libation, and are designed to draw a contrast between the
earthly water which ceases and the spiritual water which abides, similar to
the contrast which he presented to the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well.
7:38 He that believeth on me, as
the scripture hath said1, from
within him shall flow rivers of living water2.
As the scripture hath said. See, for example, Isaiah
From within him shall flow rivers of living water (John
7:39 But this
spake he of the Spirit1, which they that believed on him
were to receive: for the Spirit was not yet [given]; because Jesus was not yet
But this spake he of the Spirit. The first and second chapters of
the Book of Acts is the best comment upon this passage. When Jesus ascended
to the right hand of the Father and was glorified, he sent forth the Spirit
upon his apostles on the day of Pentecost, and the apostles in turn promised
the gift of the Spirit to all who would believe, repent, and be baptized.
7:40 [Some] of the multitude therefore,
when they heard these words, said, This is of a truth
This is of a truth the prophet. Some of the well-disposed toward
Jesus, seeing the boldness with which he proclaimed himself, asserted that
he was the prophet spoken of by Moses (Deuteronomy
18:15), which prophet was thought by some to be the Messiah himself, and
by others to be no more than the Messiah's forerunner.
7:41 Others said,
This is the Christ1. But some
said, What, doth the Christ come out of Galilee2?
Others said, This is the Christ. Still others of the multitude went
further and asserted that he was the Christ.
But some said, What, doth the Christ come out of Galilee? These
latter were confronted by those who contended that Jesus was not born in the
right place nor of the right family. These did not know that he had
satisfied the very objections which they named.
7:42 Hath not the
scripture said that the Christ cometh of the seed of David1,
and from Bethlehem, the village where David was2?
Hath not the scripture said that the Christ cometh of the seed of David.
See 2 Samuel
And from Bethlehem, the village where David was? See Micah
7:44 And some of
them would have taken him; but no man laid hands on him1.
And some of them would have taken him; but no man laid hands on him.
We note here that the enmity of the rulers which had been taken up by the
men of Jerusalem (John
7:30) had now reached a faction even of the multitude, so that it
desired his arrest, but was restrained from acting.
7:45 The officers
therefore came to the chief priests and Pharisees1; and
they said unto them, Why did ye not bring him2?
The officers therefore came to the chief priests and Pharisees.
That is, to those that had sent them (John
And they said unto them, Why did ye not bring him? These officers
were temple police or Levites, under direction of the chief priests. The
words suggest that the Sanhedrin was assembled and waiting for the return of
the officers. An extraordinary proceeding for so great a day, but no more
extraordinary than that assembly at the feast of the Passover which met and
condemned Jesus six months later.
7:46 The officers answered, Never
man so spake1.
Never man so spake. Their report has passed into a saying, which is
as true now as when first spoken.
7:47 The Pharisees therefore answered
them, Are ye also led astray1?
Are ye also led astray? This rebuke to the officers may be
paraphrased thus: You are to respect the authority of the officers and the
judgment of the Pharisees, but you have permitted yourselves to be
influenced by a multitude which rests under a curse because of its
7:50 Nicodemus saith unto them (he that
came to him before, being one of them),
Nicodemus . . . being one of them. Therefore able to speak from a
position of equality. See John
7:51 Doth our law
judge a man, except it first hear from himself and know what he doeth1?
Doth our law judge a man, except it first hear from himself and know
what he doeth? Nicodemus bids these proud rulers note that they were
breaking the very law which they extolled (Exodus
7:52 They answered and said unto him, Art
thou also of Galilee1? Search,
and see that out of Galilee ariseth no prophet2.
Art thou also of Galilee? They laid the lash to the pride of
Nicodemus by classing him with the Galileans who formed the main body of
Jesus' disciples, thus separating him from the true Jews.
Search, and see that out of Galilee ariseth no prophet. There is no
clear evidence that any of the prophets save Jonah was from the district at
this time called Galilee, and this fact would justify the hasty demand of
the objectors, who were not very scrupulous as to accuracy.
7:53 [And they went every man unto his own
THE STORY OF THE ADULTERESS. (Jerusalem.) John
NOTE.--This section is wanting in nearly all older manuscripts, but Jerome
(A.D. 346-420) says that in his time it was contained in "many Greek and
Latin manuscripts", and these must have been as good or better than the
best manuscripts we now possess. But whether we regard it as part of John's
narrative or not, scholars very generally accept it as a genuine piece of
[And they went every man unto his own house]. Confused by the
question of Nicodemus, the assembly broke up and each man went home.